One spring, when a trailer was moved, a nest was discovered and there laid 4 furless, pink critters with eyes closed tight. No mother could be found so the babies were bundled up and surrendered. These helpless creatures needed to be kept warm, safe and fed so Willow took on the task. First of all, where to keep them so that work could still be done? A crate? Too big and cold. A basket? Better but awkward. Hmmmm, what to do… With no other solution obvious, the critters were nicely tucked into her bra! This was fine because they were still so small that they stayed put and could be reached for the frequent feedings. She kept them there until she went home and then the family joined in on the care and feeding. They were given goat’s milk with eye droppers every 2 hours. They looked like tiny seals. Have you guessed what they were? Squirrels!
It was decided, though, that the babies would continue to live in her bra when she went to work. This lasted for about 2 weeks until the baby squirrels started to grow tiny sharp claws! Ouch! At that point, a hamster cage was adapted and the squirrels were left at home. To keep them warm and secure, the cage was outfitted with a hot water bottle under a blanket that was folded to make a pouch. Quickly, the squirrels became active and outgrew the cage and then were moved to a tall bird cage where they could climb and play. They loved to be held so they became the centre of attention for all involved. But, knowing that these squirrels would be set free, the caregivers tried to not become too attached nor encouraged the squirrels to become dependent. At about 3 months, a release day was chosen. The cage was put into a wheel barrow and the procession headed to the back of the property by the creek, a perfect squirrel place. The door was opened and everyone cheered as the babies scampered out of the cage, out of the wheelbarrow and off into the trees.
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